Nautical Instruments & Tools
United States Navy Silveware Mess Tray and Fruit Bowl
On offer is a silver soldered U. S. Navy embossed flat tray with an accompanying rope edged fruit bowl. The contents of this as shown in our photograph are for display purposes only and are not included in the sale!
When purchased we were told by the previous owner the provenance of the pieces is that they were given by an Officer serving with the US Merchant Marine to a crew member of MTB 85. Sadly the person who presented them was subsequently killed in action, after hitting a mine off Anzio beach in early 1944. Whilst we have no way of checking the authenticity of the story we have researched MTB 85 which was built by Vospers of Portchester and entered service in August 1942. Having served through WWII she was scuttled in the Mediterranean in March 1946 so the dates all hang together. If true it means these items served with both the U. S. and Royal Navies in WWII!
The flat Mess Tray is finely engraved to the centre with a fouled anchor and U. S. N. below. The edge of the tray carries a rope design. The reverse in stamped with the makers name 'R. Wallace', numbered '0679', 'Silver Soldered' and '12 IN' and 'B'. It is made of very solid metal and the plating is really very good but with the odd scratch and ding, which on the basis of its probable service use described above is understandable! The fruit bowl is of a matching design and quality with the same rope edge finish to the top lip and base but it does not carry the U. S. N. property mark. The underside of the base is engraved with a 'V', which we have been told is a manufacturing date code for 1942, the makers 'Reed & Barton', 'Silver Soldered' and is numbered '3000' with an '8' below. Condition is generally very good. As is shown in our photograph as well as being interesting collectables they are also entirely functional and are ready to serve again- be it ashore or at sea! The flat Mess Plate measures 11.75" x 8.25" (30 cm x 21 cm) and the Fruit Bowl is 8.25" diameter (21 cm) and it stands 2.5" (7 cm) high. These would make an unusual yet functional present for a USN or RN collector in your life!
Although it would be nice to keep the pair together we are happy to split and if sold individually either item is available at £45.00 plus delivery.